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Cannibalism case jury may have to come from another county

The jury that will hear the murder trial of a southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body may have to come from another county to avoid depleting the jury pool during another high-profile trial.

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 8:08 AM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The jury that will hear the murder trial of a southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body may have to come from another county to avoid depleting the jury pool during another high-profile trial.

Attorneys for Joseph Oberhansley, 39, and prosecutors are expected to report back to a Clark County judge within days on whether the jurors should come from a different county, or if his trial set to start Sept. 8 should be postponed, the News and Tribune reported.

Oberhansley is accused of killing and mutilating his ex-girlfriend, 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton, in Jeffersonville in 2014.

He was set to go stand trial last August with a jury drawn from central Indiana’s Hamilton County, but a mistrial was declared during the first day of testimony after a state’s witness spoke of things that attorneys had previously agreed would not be mentioned to the jury.

Attorneys tried to select a new jury drawn from Hamilton County, but they found that due to media coverage of the crime's gruesome nature many of those potential jurors already knew details of the case.

Clark County Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael later agreed that the jurors would be selected from St. Joseph County, in northern Indiana, due in part to its distance from the media markets of southern Indiana, Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

But Carmichael said during a Thursday attorneys meeting held via Zoom that St. Joseph County has another high-profile case of its own there within a week of Oberhansley’s scheduled trial and the court doesn’t want to deplete that county's jury pool.

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Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
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Pike116926
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